Home WakeSpace Scholarship › Electronic Theses and Dissertations

ABUNDANCE, BIOMASS, AND HABITAT SELECTION OF TROPICAL HERBIVOROUS FISH ACROSS A TROPICAL REEFSCAPE

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Item Files

Item Details

title
ABUNDANCE, BIOMASS, AND HABITAT SELECTION OF TROPICAL HERBIVOROUS FISH ACROSS A TROPICAL REEFSCAPE
author
Oswald, Espen James
abstract
Coral reefs face unprecedented challenges due to climate change, overfishing, and pollution. The once-dominant hard corals are giving way to algal-dominated ecosystems, hindering coral growth and resettlement. Herbivorous fish, particularly roving herbivorous fish (RHF), play a crucial role in mitigating algal overgrowth, influencing benthic composition and community structure. Despite their ecological importance, there is a notable lack of information on the population sizes and distributions of RHF, especially at the reefscape scale. This study, conducted at Lighthouse Reef Atoll, Belize, uses 3D videography to investigate the abundance, biomass, and community composition of RHF across reef zones and habitats. The findings reveal substantial variability in RHF abundance and biomass, with distinct population and community patterns linked to habitat characteristics. The study emphasizes the inadequacies of traditional survey methods, suggesting the need for revised methods to estimate biomass more accurately. For example, understanding the importance of rare events, such as rare but highly consequential schools of RHF with large numbers and/or large body sizes, is crucial for understanding the effect of herbivorous fish on reef ecology. The findings of this study provide critical information that can be used to inform conservation strategies.
subject
Abundance
Atoll
Biomass
Community Composition
Reef Zones
Roving Herbivorous Fish
contributor
Silman, Miles R (advisor)
Anderson, T Michael (committee member)
Layman, Craig A (committee member)
date
2024-05-23T08:36:21Z (accessioned)
2024-05-23T08:36:21Z (available)
2024 (issued)
degree
Biology (discipline)
identifier
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/109441 (uri)
language
en (iso)
publisher
Wake Forest University
type
Thesis

Usage Statistics